Who Are Moms for Liberty?: This Week’s Book Censorship News, January 28, 2022

Kelly Jensen


Kelly is a former librarian and a long-time blogger at STACKED. She's the editor/author of (DON'T) CALL ME CRAZY: 33 VOICES START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH and the editor/author of HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD. Her next book, BODY TALK, will publish in Fall 2020. Follow her on Instagram @heykellyjensen.

If you’ve spent any time reading through book challenges over the last year, one of the groups you’ve likely encountered by name numerous times — and will encounter in the links below — is Moms for Liberty. But who or what exactly is the Moms for Liberty movement?

Established in January 2021, the conservative nonprofit group, founded in Florida, brags of a 70,000+ membership. Tina Descovich and Tiffany Justice, two former school board members in Brevard County, teamed up with Bridget Ziegler after Descovich lost a seat on the school board to a former district employee who campaigned against Descovich’s anti-mask mandate agenda. Ziegler is no longer part of the group.

Moms of Liberty is an extremely well-connected organization to a variety of politically conservative groups and individual politicians, including Ron DeSantis, the vice chairman of the Florida Republican Party (Ziegler’s husband), conservative Florida political actions groups, conservative celebrities like Fox news hosts, Florida state representative Randy Fine, the Koch-funded Heritage Foundation (see last week’s news roundup), Parents Defending Education, PragerU, and more. Within just weeks of beginning the organization, they appeared across a host of right-wing conservative media outlets, including Rush Limbaugh, Tucker Carlson, Breitbart, and more. Media Matters does a fantastic job of following the money and connections of this group.

As of writing, Moms for Liberty boasts 165 chapters in 33 states. What makes them especially powerful besides their tremendous funding is their local level efforts: they operate by county, rather than city or state, meaning that action can be quick, organized, and targeted. Their pet projects include anti–critical race theory and anti–social emotional learning in public schools, book challenges, anti-mask mandates, and other legislation relating to education and COVID-related policies.

Those involved with the organization are proud of their involvement. They often will wear associated apparel — which is how the founders claim they’ve raised their money — and they will introduce themselves as part of the group in school board meetings or in press interviews. Moms of Liberty has acted as a template for fellow failed school board candidates to create similar groups in other U.S. states.

Keep this in mind when you read about book challenges or about the bills working through states across the U.S. that focus on “parental rights.” These have taken hold in too many states to name, but among the most immediate are those in Florida, Texas, and Indiana. Watch where the money flows between and among the politicians proposing the bills and who they’re associated with. It’s hard not to see the ways they’re working in tandem to destroy public institutions like schools and libraries in order to build for-profit institutions in their place. There’s a lot of money available to them now, with untold potential wealth were these public facilities dismantled.

It’s not about the books. They, like children, are pawns in the bigger game. Yes, racism and bigotry and homophobia are involved, but that’s not the real motivation. Money, privatization, and control are. Those are all symptoms and results of white supremacy.

As always, before diving into this week’s roundup of censorship news, here’s a reminder that you can take action. Use this toolkit for how to fight book bans and challenges, as well as this guide to identifying fake news.

Book Censorship News: January 28, 2022

Granbury list of books under review.
Granbury list of books under review.
Granbury list of books under review.
Granbury list of books under review.
Granbury list of books under review.

The books on the following list were removed from the library without any review:

Granbury list of books under review.

Further Reading